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Organizational Conflict

Linda L. Putnam

Subject Sociology
Communication Studies » Organizational Communication

Key-Topics conflict

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Organizational conflict is a frequent occurrence in most work settings. Whether rooted in interactions with co-workers, supervisors, or customers, conflict is an inevitable part of task and relational communication. Conflict refers to incompatibilities or perceptions of diametrically opposed goals and values that occur in the process of organizing. It includes disagreements about ideas, negotiations to obtain scarce resources, informal complaints about work issues, objections to corporate policies, and formal grievances filed against an organization. Hence, conflict is a pervasive feature of organizational life, but one that is often ignored. Unresolved and poorly managed organizational conflicts are very costly and lead to lower job satisfaction, lost work time, high costs of litigation, and the loss of valuable employees. Organizational conflict also entails social interactions between two or more interdependent parties that adjust to each other's moves and countermoves. It includes what the parties say to each other (→  Language and Social Interaction ), the →  Information that they exchange, their nonverbal behaviors (→  Facial Expressions ; Gestures and Kinesics ; Paralanguage ), and the →  meanings or interpretations of their messages. Moreover, in conflict interactions, parties react to each other's influence attempts and anticipate each other's actions. Communication ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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